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I just bought a 24' used iMac.

The previous owner reinstalled Mavericks and sent it to me.

I looked at the disk usage info and it appears as if all the old data, movies, music, and everything else, is still there. Only 100gigs are free on a 500gig drive.

Is there a way to find this old data and reclaim my hard drive space?

I don't have a disk.

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  • Could you edit in what version of Mac OS X is running? That will help us help you. Welcome to the site, too!
    – bmike
    Aug 28, 2014 at 18:51

3 Answers 3

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You do not need a disk to reinstall Mavericks, since it has a recovery partition that will download Mavericks and do a fresh install, if you prefer to do that.

Erase and reinstall Mavericks: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH14243

Otherwise, you can probably just delete the user account, which will offer to delete all the user's info, freeing up considerable space.

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You could download 'DaisyDisk' and let it analyze your Disk. You get a very good overview what Files are using up your Space.

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I would start with this plan. Get a backup disk or connect a USB drive that you can dedicate to backing up your iMac. Get a full Time Machine backup so you can experiment and delete things.

Lion and later (10.7) need no disk to run maintenance and reinstall the OS. You can boot to recovery to wipe the drive and reinstall the core OS. Do keep in mind, you might lose some apps like iLife or iWork if they were installed - which is why it's nice to have a backup before you wipe anything.

Also - you could look in the Apple Menu - open the About this Mac and then click more info. Then click on storage to see what sorts of files are taking up space on the Mac.

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